Eurobites: US Unit Continues to Power Deutsche Telekom Growth
News Analysis Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe 11/8/2018
Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: VEON blown off course by currency fluctuations; Orange launches LTE-M network in France; Virgin Media adds units; O2 goes driverless; smart speakers don't speak Finnish.
A turbocharged performance in the third quarter from its US arm helped prompt Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) to raise its guidance on full-year earnings to around €23.6 billion (US$26.9 billion), from a forecast figure of around €23.2 billion ($26.5 billion) ($21.8 billion) at the start of the financial year. DT's net third-quarter revenue increased by 4.7% year-on-year to €19.1 billion, while adjusted earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose by 8.5% to €6.2 billion ($7.1 billion). As for T-Mobile US Inc. , it added more than 1.6 million customers in the third quarter, its 22nd consecutive quarter of million-plus growth.
With its sights set on a bright future within the Internet of Things, Orange has launched an LTE-M network in France and plans two more by the end of the year -- one in Spain and one in Romania. Orange plans to combine LTE-M with LoRa technology to create a winning IoT combination. In May, Orange switched on its first LTE-M network, in Belgium.
Those pesky "currency headwinds" are being blamed by VEON for year-on-year falls in reported third-quarter revenue (down 5.7% to $2.31 billion) and EBITDA (down 18.7% to $848 million) at the Amsterdam-based but Russia-focused operator. In "organic" terms, however, revenue grew 2.9%, with, says VEON, strong performances from Russia, Pakistan and Ukraine boosting the bottom line.
UK and Ireland cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) claims it notched up a record number of customer -- or at least "revenue generating unit" -- additions in the third quarter, with 105,000 being added in the period, a rise of 14% year-on-year. This figure might have been even higher if it hadn't been for the temporary loss of several UKTV channels from its video offering, which dented demand for it. Average monthly revenue per user was up too, by 1.9% year-on-year to £51.09 ($66.94). Rebased third-quarter revenue grew 4.1%, partly thanks to success in the so-called SOHO sector.
Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) has teamed up with the Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) to develop what it claims will be Europe's largest fiber-connected small cell network, to support trials of driverless vehicles in the West Midlands region of the UK. O2 will provide the connectivity along a 50-mile route that runs through the cities of Birmingham and Coventry to test a range of 5G-based new technologies from 2020 onwards.
EE , the UK mobile operator that is part of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has switched on nine 5G trial sites across east London, using the New Radio strain of the technology in the 3.4GHz spectrum. Businesses and consumers in the areas covered will be invited to join the trial, which will first assess 5G as an alternative to their fixed broadband.
Smart speakers are failing to take off in Finland because they're not smart enough to understand Finnish, YLE reports. So, presumably, disgruntled Finns across the land are sitting in inappropriate lighting conditions watching a TV channel they didn't want to watch. It's going to be a long winter for those guys.
DAZN, a live sports streaming service that covers gridiron's NFL RedZone and soccer's UEFA Champions League amongst other goodies, is being made available on Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM)'s UHD TV Box and via mobile app. It will cost 12.90 Swiss francs per month.
UHD TV is all well and good, but some folk prefer to keep it old-school. As the BBC reports, more than 7,000 people in the UK still opt to watch their TV in black and white, or at least that's what they claim on their TV license application. Here at Eurobites Towers we don't like to be overly cynical, but the fact that a black-and-white TV license costs £50.50 ($66.16) and a color one costs £150.50 ($197.18) may be a factor here. For a reminder of just how good live sport can be in black and white, check out this game of snooker from yesteryear, which calls to mind the famous piece of commentary from the late, great Ted Lowe: "And for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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